Environmental Science (MindTap Cou...

16th Edition
G. Tyler Miller + 1 other
ISBN: 9781337569613



Environmental Science (MindTap Cou...

16th Edition
G. Tyler Miller + 1 other
ISBN: 9781337569613
Textbook Problem

What are the three key concepts for this section? Define environment. Distinguish among environmental science, ecology, and environmentalism (environmental activism). Define species. What is an ecosystem? Define solar energy, biodiversity, nutrients, and chemical cycling (nutrient cycling); and explain why they are important to life on the earth.

To determine

The key concepts of section 1.1 of the given chapter, the definition of the terms, environment, species, solar energy, biodiversity, nutrients, and chemical cycling (nutrient cycling), the difference between environmental science, ecology, and environmentalism (environmental activism) and the importance of solar energy, biodiversity, nutrients, and chemical cycling (nutrient cycling) to life.


Section 1.1 of the given chapter discusses life, its sustainability, and its connection to the environment. It explains the concepts of sustainable living and how sustainability can be maintained. The key concepts given in this section are:

(i) On planet Earth, life has been sustained by natural systems like solar energy, biodiversity, and chemical cycling for billions of years.

(ii) Human life and economy are dependent on solar energy and the natural resources along with the ecosystem services that are being provided by the Earth to humans.

(iii) Humans can live their lives more sustainably by adopting six principles of sustainability.

The given terms can be defined as follows:

Environment: An environment of an organism can be defined as all the things that constitute the surrounding of that organism. The environment of an individual can include all the living as well as nonliving things with the individual has interactions along with the solar energy coming from the Sun.

The environment helps in the survival of living species. All the resources that are needed for the survival of an organism are provided by the environment only.

Species: Species is defined as a group of similar organisms that are capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offsprings.

Solar energy: Solar energy is the energy that the Earth receives from the Sun in the form of sunlight. It is the ultimate source of energy for the biological world on Earth.

Biodiversity: Biodiversity refers to the variability in the genes, species, ecosystems, and the processes that are found in the ecosystem. There are thousands of species of plants and animals that lie all over the living world on Earth.

Nutrients: Nutrients are defined as the molecules that provide nourishment required for healthy growth and maintenance of life and living organisms. Lack of nutrients can cause improper growth and functioning of the body.

Chemical cycling: Cycle responsible for the movement of nutrients from the environment, through living organisms and back to the environment is called chemical cycling...

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